The people of Alachu, Matsam, Ntangien Matsom and Ntembeng of Mankon Village, Northwest Region of Cameroon now enjoy clean potable water. This comes after 11 taps constructed by Truus Treep, Volunteer for the Dordrecht Bamenda Foundation with funds from the Netherlands were handed over to the people of these quarters in Mankon on October 16, 2015.
The handing over ceremony started with a visit and inspection of the different taps by Truus Treep, staff from the Services for Persons with Disabilities (SDP) of the CBC Health Service under whose auspices the Mankon water project was realised, quarter heads, Mankon Water Project Engineer and some notables. The visit was aimed at ensuring that all the taps were in good conditions.
Having observed water flowing from the taps, community members were visibly overwhelmed finding it hard to believe that their dream of having potable water in their quarters had finally became a reality.
Given that two of the taps had minor problems, the quarter heads promised to work with a plumber to ensure that all the taps continue to function well. A gesture which the donor Truus and the SPD Coordinator, Mr. Awa Jacque Chirac commended describing it as a sense of ownership.
The visit culminated with a meeting chaired by the SPD Coordinator who is representing the funders by directing the water project and reporting to Truus Treep.
On behalf of the others, the quarter head of Matsam appreciated Truus for the gift of water saying through her, God has answered their prayers. He promised their continuous collaboration with Mr. Awa Jacque Chirac in order to ensure the sustainability of the water project. The quarter head equally beseeched Truus to express their gratitude to all those who had made donations for the realization of the water project.
Mr. Awa Jacque Chirac appreciated the community members and the quarter heads for their commitment and cooperation in the realization of the water project.
Under the watchful eyes of Truus, accompanied by her daughter and friend, a water project management committee was voted by the beneficiaries with Dickson Nji as chairperson. Mr. Awa then charged the ten-man committee to be committed, dynamic, have integrity and be hard working. He averred that change must not be brought about only by a large group but by a small group of dedicated and committed people. He called on them to sink their differences and work as a team in order to ensure effective ownership of the water noting that the best way to thank Truus is by making water flow sustainable. Mr. Awa also charged the committee to recruit a plumber, in order to ensure sustainability of the water project.
Another high point of the ceremony was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Truus, chairman of the water management committee, quarter heads and the principal of Baptist High School Mankon. The MoU states that SPD will provide relevant technical support in the management of the water project and explore funding opportunities for its extension.
On their part, the community according to the MoU will ensure regular maintenance of all water structures, develop a sustainability strategy for the management of water and ensure the collection of yearly dues from households benefiting from the water project amongst others.
Speaking at the close of the ceremony, Truus called on community members to use the water judiciously. She appreciated the CBC Health Services for supervising the project. She noted that despite challenges like inadequate electricity, damaged taps and pipes in course of the water project, she kept on because she was positive the project would be realized.
It should be noted that Truus Treep has two projects in Cameroon with her main project being CBC Integrated School for the Deaf in Mbingo where she has constructed some classrooms, dormitory, refectory, and provided didactic materials to the pupils and trainings to teachers amongst others. Her second project is the water project in Mankon that has finally come to reality. Worthy of note is the fact that SPD represents the funding partner and has the responsibility of improving on the wellbeing of the community by reducing the prevalence of disability resulting from polluted drinking water.